Posts Tagged baghdad

Raw Intelligence Report: Conditions in Baghdad

This is a report from Stratfor Global Intelligence

June 13, 2011

Editor’s Note: What follows is raw insight from a STRATFOR source in Baghdad, Iraq. The following does not reflect STRATFOR’s view, but provides a perspective on the situation in Baghdad.

After the fall of Baghdad in 2003, the city was a nice place despite the lack of law enforcement and government. By February 2004, most businesses were operating, people were happy and stores were open until midnight. There was no shortage of fuel, and electricity was more reliable. The city was very clean, and the crime rate was low. There was also no fear of kidnapping or car bombs. It was a functioning city with law, even without law enforcement. There was even a lion in the Baghdad Zoo, though I heard it later died.

On March 2, 2004, explosions shook the Shiite Kazimiyah district, killing tens and wounding hundreds. These explosions were the start of more attacks and car bombings between the Shia and Sunnis that increased in later years. In 2003 and 2004, Baghdad was a city where I envisioned living permanently one day. That is not the case now.

The roads are in very poor condition, with lots of garbage everywhere — some of it dating back to 2003. Many streets are blocked with concrete walls. There are many checkpoints inside the city manned by soldiers and police, but they did not seem to be well trained or prepared for potential threats. I hardly saw them checking cars or asking people for identification. We drove 400 kilometers (250 miles) and encountered more than 26 checkpoints; none of them stopped us to ask for identification. The soldiers and police at the checkpoints do not seem to be loyal to the Iraqi state but are there to get their salaries and make a living. The taxi driver told me that since the government does not enforce the law, the soldiers do not want to ask for identification and hold people accountable because they fear reprisals later. Therefore, they let everyone go and avoid problems. Read the rest of this entry »

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American soldiers helped Iraqi troops repell major attack in Baghdad

Reporting from Baghdad —
“American soldiers helped Iraqi troops battle insurgents in downtown Baghdad on Sunday, repelling a major attack in the heart of the capital city five days after President Obama declared an end to U.S. combat operations.

At least 18 people were killed and 39 injured in the midday attack in which a group of suicide bombers and gunmen attempted to storm the Iraqi army’s headquarters for eastern Baghdad, located in a former Ministry of Defense building in a busy market district alongside the Tigris River.

No Americans were among the casualties, said military spokesman Lt Col. Eric Bloom.
“Soldiers living and working at Old MoD provided suppressive fire while IA [Iraqi army] soldiers located the two terrorists that entered the compound,” he said in an e-mail. The firefight lasted “a few minutes,” he said.”,0,6013303.story

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Photo from Baghdad humanitarian aid mission

Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Rollins, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 120th Combined Arms Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, from Rock Hill, S.C., talks with children near Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, during a humanitarian aid mission. Photo by Mary Phillips

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